Tomorrow is Here

Bebo Takes Social Networking Interstellar

by on Oct.14, 2008, under Deep Space, Society 2.0

Gliese 581

Gliese 581

Last week, Bebo poked Gliese 581, one of our stellar neighbours. The social networking site collected 501 messages from members then beamed them into space. Site members selected the messages by vote. The messages include images of landmarks, famous people family snaps and short messages. One simply says, “You are not alone,” another “Welcome to planet Earth.”

The giant RT-70 radio telescope in the Ukraine sent the message on Oct 9. It is now over 100 billion miles from Earth. The target star Gliese 581 lies 20.1 light years from Earth. The Bebo team selected it because it has planets orbiting within the habitable zone. The region from the star where liquid water can exist.

Yelling into the Jungle

There could be risks involved for the Earth by bringing ourselves to the attention of alien intelligences. Sending signals into space like this has been compared to, “yelling into an unknown jungle.”

On the Message from Earth page, thethe Bebo website the team point out that, “The Earth has been sending unnatural signals into space from military radars and telescopes conducting radar astronomy for decades.” However, there is a great deal of difference between a carrier wave leaking into space and an information dense signal focused on a possibly inhabited planet.

When a similar scheme was proposed two years ago by Yahoo, it caused considerable concern and was abandon when Mexican officials refused to allow a laser transmitter to be mounted on an ancient pyramid.

If there is anyone or anything out there and they reply straight away, we can expect to be poked back in 40.2 years. Anyone for a game of interstellar-vampires?

Was this a good idea?

Message

Message

My Babies

My Babies

Welcome to Earth

Welcome to Earth

Holiday Snap

Holiday Snap

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